No More Self

preoccupationBy Trillia Newbell

Jon Bloom of Desiring God has some wonderful insight on the perils of self-preoccupation:

Want to refresh your soul? Want to run with more endurance today? Cease to be the focus of your attention.

The state of your soul depends on what occupies your mind. If your self is occupying your mind, forget peace and contentment. You don’t find those in a vacuum of needs and sinful cravings. And forget loving others. A self-preoccupied soul might like the idea of being viewed by others as loving, but ends up finding others obstacles that plug up its craving vacuum.

And forget joy. The soul does not find satisfaction in the self. It’s not designed to. It’s designed to find supreme satisfaction in Someone else (Psalm 107:9), and then to enjoy everything else because of that Someone else (1 Timothy 6:17).

I find this to be true in my own life. The moments I am most discouraged are typically those when I’ve been meditating on myself and not God’s promises. And, as Bloom explains, it’s because I am made to worship, not myself but the Lord.

The soul is designed to worship, but not to worship our self. The self is not glorious enough to captivate the soul. We know this. Yet our fallen selves don’t want to believe it. We’re drawn again and again into the hopeless labyrinth of deception that is self-worship. We know we’re not worship-worthy—no matter how many self-affirming pop psychology mantras we chant. And yet we try over and over to satisfy our souls with other people’s praise—and if possible, worship—of our self. Our fallen natures seem to believe that if enough people admire us we just might believe we’re admirable.

Go on over to Desiring God and read the entire post. You will be glad you did as you learn to lay aside the weight of self-preoccupation.

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